Posted by David McCoy
The Minister of Justice will coordinate an effort to centralize the millions of documents produced during the military regime that, as of now, are held in the archives of various ministries in Brazil. While it has been possible for researchers and journalists to access many of these documents in their present locations, the process is unnecessarily difficult. Moving the documents to the National Archive, which is under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Justice, will better fulfill the objectives of the 2011 Law on Access to Information. For more information see the story in the Folha de São Paulo.
The National Truth Commission will, for the first time, send a formal request to the government of Argentina for an investigation into the disappearances of 15 Brazilians during activity related to Operation Condor, which united the institutions of state repression during the military dictatorships in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Uruguay. Because these disappearances remain unsolved, the Commission hopes that human rights prosecutions might be possible due to the fact that the crimes can be considered ongoing and, thus, would not be annulled by the 1979 Amnesty Law. For more information, see the Globo story.
Carlos Araújo, the ex-husband of President Dilma Rousseff, former leftist guerrilla, and retired state deputy in Rio Grande do Sul, alleged in an interview with the National Truth Commission that members of the powerful industrial organization, Fiesp, were present and assisted in torturing sessions, in addition to providing funding for operations that included torture. This news comes only a week after Globo reported on connections between Fiesp and Dops, one of the most notorious institutions of repression and torture during the military regime. For more information, click here.
Vladimir Herzog‘s death certificate was formally re-issued to members of his family today. This formal recognition of his death from torture by the Brazilian state is an important symbolic victory for the National Truth Commission. Herzog, who worked as a journalist during the military regime, died during a torture session in the infamous DOI-Codi facility, which was a principal site of state repression and torture. His death, which the military blamed on suicide, was the subject of international protest and caused many Brazilians to acknowledge the human rights violations by the dictatorship for the first time. For more information see the Commission’s press release.